Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Shondes

The Shondes!bum bum bang bang clank clank bum bum bang bang GUITAR SWIRLS BASS CHUGS clank clank violin rises I'M OKAY I'M OKAY!! BANG BANG!


The Shondes (Yiddish for 'a shame, a disgrace) are a Brooklyn punk band with "the drama of Patti Smith, the punch of Sleater Kinney, traditional Jewish melodies, and a songwriting style deeply rooted in Classical tradition." Yeah. that.

Anyway, I've mentioned this before but I was punk as a kid. Well, sort of (I looked like an idiot with a mohawk) but I've been to a lot of punk clubs and seen a lot of punk bands. And one of the best things about a real punk band is that they can wear their heart on their sleeve, tell it like it is, be totally earnest, and then grab their audience by the ear drums and demand they join. Punk isn't nice, but it is unapologetically passionate.

And the Shonde's are punk. And they're Jewish, and the Jewish isn't just a musical reference or a cultural nod. It's the basis for their band. There's been a lot of fury in progressive Jewish circles over Israel's treatment of the Palestinian's, but when was the last time you heard it wrapped in a snarling swirling song the evokes Lamentations and the fall of the Temple.

"remembering temples falling
i watched the wall ascending
i watched cities consume cities'
we can't see the chance that's there
to build temples everywhere
not in space but in time"
from 'I Watched the Temple Fall'

That's about as clear a statement of the Diasporist progressive stance as I've heard. And when the Shondes' plug in and grind, you have to listen. The Shonde's are participating in the Lollapolooza 'Last Band Standing.' Go vote for them.

The Shondes - Let's Go

hat tip to JewSchool


Julie said...

thanks for posting that! i too went through a punk phase (and frankly, still give my fugazi records a spin sometimes). they sound bad religion-ish. (that's a good thing in my book!) i don't necessarily agree with their politics, but i can appreciate their art. cool stuff! gotta go check out more of their stuff on youtube...

Jack said...

I was more of a 7 Seconds & Adolescents kid, myself (love the West Coast hard-core). That an a lot of ska. I'm with you on their politics. I'm sympathetic, but not convinced. Bulldozing houses and building walls sucks, but there is a larger context. Hey! This reminds me. I found the trailer for a documentary on Israeli punk music a while back that I never posted about. I'll have to dig up that link.

Julie said...

oooh - really? cool, please do. from the little that i know about the punk scene in my "backyard," it's kinda lame...

Jack said...

Ok, Julie. It's done.